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Justice V Chitambaresh, a sitting judge of the Kerala High Court, recently made some rather controversial remarks about Brahmins and their virtues. In the course of his speech, the judge also called on the Brahmin community to agitate against caste-based reservation.
At the Tamil Brahmin’s Global Meet held on Friday, the judge began his address by extolling the virtues of Brahmins.
“Now who is a brahmin? A brahmin is dwijhanmana – twice born… Because of poorvajanmasuhridham, he is twice born.
He has got certain distinct characteristics: clean habits, lofty thinking, sterling character, mostly a vegetarian, a lover of Carnatic music. All good qualities rolled into one is a brahmin.”
The judge proceeds to opine about the rich heritage of agraharams (temple land given to Brahmins), remarking that the areas around such land should not be allotted for flat construction,
“There are innumerable agraharams in Kerala, which needs to be preserved. There is a rich cultural heritage. The agraharams have to be declared as heritage source and we shall not permit any flat to be built in between the agraharams – in between the houses in the agraharams.“
Justice Chitambaresh’s speech then moves toward more controversial ground as he calls on the Brahmin community to agitate for economic reservation, rather than caste or communal reservation. All the while, he maintains that he is not expressing any opinion on the same considering the fact that he is holding a Constitutional post.
“It is time for you to deliberate as to whether reservation should be on the basis of community or caste alone. Occupying a constitutional post, it may not be proper for me to express any opinion – I am not expressing my opinion at all. But I am only kindling your interest or reminding you that there is a platform for you to agitate or to voice your concern about economic reservation alone, and not caste or communal reservation.
Of course, there is a 10% reservation for economically backward classes. A son of a Brahmin cook, even if he falls within the non-creamy layer zone, will not get any reservation. Whereas, a son of a timber merchant who belongs to other backward communities will get reservation if he is within the non-creamy layer zone. I am not expressing any opinion at all, it is for you to deliberate and put forward your opinion.“
As he concludes his address, Justice Chitambaresh appears to opine that the Brahmin community is not vocal enough in pressing for its demands.
“As Mr. Raman said, karayunna kuttike paal ullu (‘only the crying child will get milk’). The time has come for us to play an orchestra and not to play solo. More of Veda Padashaalas which are now dwindling should be encouraged. The rich cultural heritage should be protected.”
Further, he remarks that persons with the qualities of a Brahmin should always be at the helm of affairs.
“It may be noted that a Brahmin is never communal, he is always considerate, he is an ahimsavadi (proponent of peace). He loves people, he is one who liberally donates for any laudable cause. Such a person should always be at the helm of affairs for which this Tamil Brahmin meet will definitely be a turning point.”
Justice Chitambaresh is an alumnus of Government Law College, Thiruvananthapuram. He started his practice in 1981. He was designated Senior Advocate in November 2007. In November 2011, he was sworn-in as an Additional Judge of the Kerala High Court. In December 2012, he was made permanent judge.
Here is the video of the event (Credit: The Post):